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Data Dynamics automates file migration

Data Dynamics Inc., a new company selling a decades-old product, has enhanced its StorageX file management software to simplify storage migration planning and automate the ability to map metadata characteristics between source and target file servers in data migration projects.

Data Dynamics came out of stealth last September to breathe new life into the StorageX file virtualization application originally developed by NuView Systems in 2002. Brocade acquired NuView in 2006, but killed StorageX in 2010. Data Dynamics positions StorageX as a file migration tool rather than for file virtualization.

StorageX 7.1’s new Advanced Design Mode provides an exportable grid view of a file server that allows administrators to regulate volumes on block LUNs, define the SnapMirror source and destination, adjust de-duplication ratios, sett quota limits, and change volume sizing. The grid looks like a spreadsheet,

“It identifies the source infrastructure in a file server,” Data Dynamics CEO Piyush Mehta said. “As you populate the source information, it automatically asks pertinent questions on the target environment such as identifying the filer of NAS device, what is the volume name and what is the volume size.”

It also automatically creates policies that help trigger the data movers. Previously, the process was done manually. IT administrators would have to understand the metadata from the source, and create shares and exports.

“Once they created those, they have to write scripts to move the data,” Mehta said. “It’s a fully manual process. It takes hundreds of hours and the risk of errors is high. (With our module) you save deployment time.”

StorageX supports NetApp Data Ontap, EMC VNX and EMC Isilon application programming interfaces (APIs) so data migration can be done within and across those systems. Customers can use it to migrate from a NetApp filer to an EMC filer or vice versa.

The software resides on a VMware hypervisor and uses replication agents to pull data from the source and push it to the targets. It supports both CIFS shares and NFS exports within a single console. It moves data while it’s still in use. It takes an initial copy and makes subsequent copies of the changes. It also detects NFS and CIFS access controls or security permissions and ensures file attributes are migrated correctly.

StorageX also has been upgraded with better reporting capabilities to export, sort and filter views and reports for selected storage resources. It can monitor agent utilization and trends, oversee device exports and shares, and audit migration policies and execution.

“The enhanced reporting provides utilization and trending of the entire migration process, the overall activity taking place across devices from the source to target side,” Mehta said. “It tells what various states of the migration policies.”

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